June 24, 2017

Motorsport

I have been involved in motorsports since 1974 at the age of 12… seriously, I was a dedicated program seller at our local race track Englewood Speedway located in Colorado. During the past three decades I have owned and driven my own race cars, hosted two popular racing radio shows, one racing television news program, worked as a track announcer, color commentator, and most recently as a sponsorship and media agent.

Englewood Speedway Program Sellers James Holmes Motorsport

James Holmes Englewood Speedway 1974

I started in the sport in the same way most other owners and drivers do, with a short track program in my local market. For me the journey lead to Indy Cars but my love remains for the weekend warriors, the short track racers who are the backbone of our sport. Regardless if we are consulting a professional motor-racing team or a small privateer, we are equally dedicated to creating successful outcomes for both the teams and our sponsor partners.

My Journey as a Race Car Driver

I began racing in 1988 at Lakeside Speedway where I had the distinction of winning my first race; that same year I went on to win the Super Stock Division Rookie of the Year. I went on to compete in the NASCAR Weekly Series at Colorado National Speedway in the sportsman and late model divisions.

My First Race Car Lakeside Speedway James Holmes 35 Roy Jackson 42 Motorsport

James Holmes Lakeside Speedway C.A.R.C. 1988 Super Stock Rookie of the Year

Forced Move to NASCAR

At the completed a successful rookie season at Lakeside Speedway I began to explore moving up to the late model division and purchased the car that Rick Carelli used to win the 1988 Lakeside CARC Late Model Championship and began structuring corporate sponsorship. As a result of a fatal accident that occurred on the final night of the season Lakeside Speedway was all future events discontinued and the track was closed. My challenge was how to proceed as the only other local track Colorado National Speedway was a dirt facility and the car I had just purchased was an asphalt car.

James Holmes 1989 Colorado National Speedway 001 1024x726 Motorsport

James Holmes First NASCAR Late Model 1989

Good fortune came my way as Colorado Speedway was sold over the winter months and converted to a NASCAR Sanction asphalt paved facility and I was quickly forced to expand my vision to include NASCAR Late Model racing at a much higher level than planned.

James Holmes NASCAR Late Model Motorsport

James Holmes Colorado National Speedway 1990 NASCAR Late Model

Realization of a Lifetime Dream

I achieved a lifetime dream in 1991 by driving in the American Indy Car Series for owner Roger Mitchell. My long-term goal was to become a professional Indy Car driver and this initial drive eventually lead to a test for the CART Indy Lights series in 1997 which was later withdrawn when Dr. Jack Miller Racing lost their primary car rendering the car I was to drive no longer available.

James Holmes American Indy Car Series Motorsport

James Holmes American Indy Car Series Rookie Season

American Indy Car Series

My first sponsorship agency InterActive Motorsports was established in 1994 and brought the first comprehensive Internet marketing proposal to IndyCar (Champ Car Series) presented to then series CEO Mr. Andrew Craig. During the same year, we became engaged with Indy Regency Racing CEO (the late) Sal Incandella on a project to return Jeff Andretti to the series on a full-time basis.

Motorsports Marketing

My heart and professional work never strayed far from my stock car roots as we worked extensively in the American Speed Association representing Dick Hoffman‘s Track Side Motorsports and driver Jeff Neal. The project included sponsor acquisition and media relations for the program over two seasons. In addition to working with Jeff Neal in ASA, we also had the pleasure of working with (the late)  Kenny Irwin a rising star who soon after became a full-time driver for Robert Yates Racing in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series (now NASCAR Sprint Cup Series) before being killed in a practice accident for the New England 300 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

James Holmes Mkt Mgr Trackside Motorsports 001 1024x705 Motorsport

James Holmes Corporate Sponsor Development Trackside Motorsports

I worked with Granger Whitelaw on the Indy 500 winning project featuring driver Buddy Lazier and Hemelgarn Racing in 1996. A significant marketing objective was achieved by Granger Whitelaw introducing the Montana Cigarettes brand to a major American sports audience as a primary sponsor.

580x300 buddy lazier indy 500 winner Motorsport

Buddy Lazier 1996 Indy 500 Champion

InterActive Motorsports final client engagement was with Derrick Walker, CEO of Walker Racing Indy Car Team in 1997. Although no contract were secured in this relationship, it was a gratifying personal achievement to win the trust of a top tier professional team and an owner that I had grown to regard very highly. I had been a long-time admirer of Mr. Walker since his days at Penske Racing and later replacing (the late) Al Holbert as head of the Porsche Indy Car Program.